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A Timewatch Guide

  • Season 3
  • 4 episodes
  • Education

Summary

Series looking at how the BBC has revealed and interpreted monumental moments in our history. Using the BBC archive, the programmes examine changes in research covered in documentary television.

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Episode 4: British Empire: Heroes and Villains - A Timewatch Guide

Summary

Less than 100 years ago, the British ruled a quarter of the planet, and people were proud to call themselves imperialists. But now, to many, that seems like a badge of shame. Here, David Olusoga examines how the British Empire has been portrayed on British TV over the past 70 years, drawing on clips from documentary series Timewatch as well as other gems from the archive.

Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Historian David Olusoga thoughtfully wanders the streets of Oxford to present an absorbing trot through perceptions of the British Empire as shown on television.

He draws heavily on the weighty and highly controversial 1972 classic The British Empire, which caused foaming apoplexy in the House of Lords among men born during the Victorian era infuriated by the series’ criticism of British rule.

It almost didn’t make it to the screen, producers threatened to resign en masse if there was any watering down of the subject matter.

Most entertaining, though, is historian Andrew Roberts being monstered by his critics as “sneering, snivelling and supercilious” in a studio discussion after his Empire-hugging 1998 Timewatch, The British in India.

How to watch

Next showing

There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show.

Details

Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
PresenterDavid Olusoga

Crew

rolename
DirectorDenis Minihan
EditorJohn Carlin
Executive producerEmma Parkins
ProducerDenis Minihan

All episodes

  • Episode 4

    British Empire: Heroes and Villains - A Timewatch Guide

    Summary

    Less than 100 years ago, the British ruled a quarter of the planet, and people were proud to call themselves imperialists. But now, to many, that seems like a badge of shame. Here, David Olusoga examines how the British Empire has been portrayed on British TV over the past 70 years, drawing on clips from documentary series Timewatch as well as other gems from the archive.

    Review

    A star rating of 3 out of 5.

    Historian David Olusoga thoughtfully wanders the streets of Oxford to present an absorbing trot through perceptions of the British Empire as shown on television.

    He draws heavily on the weighty and highly controversial 1972 classic The British Empire, which caused foaming apoplexy in the House of Lords among men born during the Victorian era infuriated by the series’ criticism of British rule.

    It almost didn’t make it to the screen, producers threatened to resign en masse if there was any watering down of the subject matter.

    Most entertaining, though, is historian Andrew Roberts being monstered by his critics as “sneering, snivelling and supercilious” in a studio discussion after his Empire-hugging 1998 Timewatch, The British in India.

    How to watch

    Next showing

    There are no live broadcasts scheduled for this show.

    Details

    Formats
    Colour

    Credits

    Cast

    rolename
    PresenterDavid Olusoga

    Crew

    rolename
    DirectorDenis Minihan
    EditorJohn Carlin
    Executive producerEmma Parkins
    ProducerDenis Minihan
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